GSS Country Snapshot
A brief overview of Harvard activities, safety & security, health, cultural, and outbound immigration considerations
Registered Trips in 2019
Argentina is a top 25 destination for Harvard affiliates to study, research, and travel. It’s also home to a Harvard Business School (HBS) Latin America Research Center in Buenos Aires. The Consortium for Advanced Study Abroad (CASA), which Harvard is a member of, also operates a study abroad program in Buenos Aires.
Both at Harvard and in the region, the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies Andes & Southern Cone Program enhances research collaboration, faculty and student engagement, and program development for the Harvard community and public.
The information below is intended as a high-level summary and is not all encompassing. Situations on the ground can change rapidly. We encourage you to review the additional resources and utilize your Harvard network to learn more. You can also schedule a consultation with us if you’d like to discuss the safety and security or operational matters unique to you and your travel or project. We’ll work with you to minimize risks and help you make informed decisions about your travel and activities.
Safety & Security
Although the Harvard GSS risk rating for Argentina is unrated, there are still factors for Harvard affiliates to consider when traveling or planning activities in Argentina. For example, opportunistic crime and petty theft are risks, especially in major cities and tourist areas. There are reports of sexual harassment and sexual assault in urban and rural areas, and violent crime is reported throughout the villas de emergencia. Corruption is widely reported at the local and federal level, and protests occur frequently in Buenos Aires, which have led to travel disruptions and occasional clashes with police. As with any country, you need to research and consider all factors in the context of your identity, your activities in country, and your familiarity with the country and its culture. If a security incident occurs, contact International SOS through the Assistance App or by dialing +1-617-998-0000.
Weather and environmental-related incidents can create safety risks in Argentina, disrupting travel and essential services. Flooding occurs during the rainy season (December-March) and heavy snowfall is common in the Andes Mountains. The Andes lie in a seismic zone, making the region prone to earthquakes. There are also several active volcanoes in northern Argentina. Make sure you’re informed, prepared, and have a plan in case a natural disaster occurs. Download the International SOS Assistance App to receive push alerts about incidents in your area.
There are numerous international and domestic airports in Argentina for inter-city travel. Train and bus services are extensive, but travelers are encouraged to use prearranged, secure transportation. Official, metered taxis and hotel car services (“remises”) are a convenient option, and ride sharing applications are available in big cities. Be advised that many unlicensed taxis operate in major cities and should be avoided; scams involving yellow and black taxis are commonly reported. Travelers are advised not to self-drive because conditions may vary from what you’re used to. Review the road safety report for Argentina (access code: Harvard1636) for more information on public transit, walking, biking, and driving.
The phone network and internet access in Argentina is extensive in major cities. Reports of cybercrime via malware, spam, and phishing attacks are increasing, and counterfeit currency is prevalent. Know how to keep your data safe abroad, and only use verified currency exchange centers and ATMs located inside banks.
Make sure you’re up-to-date on any required and recommended vaccines for Argentina. Health risks such as chikungunya, Covid-19, histoplasmosis, rabies, West Nile virus, yellow fever, and Zika may be present. A yellow fever vaccine may be required of your onward/return location. If you're traveling with medication, check to see if your medications are legal and available in Argentina. Many common U.S. medications and supplements are illegal abroad or require special authorization.
Visit your doctor or a travel clinic (such as Harvard University Health Services) at least a month before your departure to discuss all health risks and your individual health with a professional, to receive any vaccines or medications you’ll need, and to learn how to reduce your risk of infection or transmission.
All travelers have a small risk of developing traveler’s diarrhea in any country, and the risk is moderate in Argentina. Outside of Buenos Aires, you’re advised to drink only bottled or boiled water and to avoid ice. Learn how to make safe food and drink choices.
If you need any medical or mental health assistance while on a Harvard-related trip in Argentina, contact International SOS through the Assistance App or by dialing +1-617-998-0000. International SOS can direct you to appropriate inpatient or outpatient care and provide translation assistance. Emergency and trauma care are available in Buenos Aires, and localized care may necessitate evacuation to a major city with better care.
Argentina is a federal democratic republic. Its economy is driven by manufacturing and service industries, with agribusiness and tourism growing in importance. More than 90 percent of the country identifies as Catholic.
Spanish is the official language, and efforts to speak the language are appreciated. English is also widely spoken in business and tourist areas, and Italian is also common in business. It’s normal for conversations to take place at a much closer physical proximity than some travelers may be accustomed to. Social occasions have different rules in Argentina, and you may want to ask if promptness is expected: “¿En punto?” (“On the dot?”).
Cash is still the preferred payment method, although credit and debit cards are accepted at most restaurants, shops, and hotels.
When booking travel or scheduling meetings, be mindful of Argentina’s holidays and festivals since businesses may be closed or have reduced hours.
Visas & Travel Documents
Before traveling to Argentina, make sure your passport is valid for at least six months from your date of entry and that you have a blank page for an entry stamp. All visitors must have an onward or return ticket, and depending on your citizenship, activities, and length of stay, you may need a visa to enter.
Requirements are subject to change, so always check your visa and travel document requirements well in advance.
Upon exit, you may have to pay a departure tax.